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After a difficult legislative battle, President Obama signed into law Trade Promotion Authority on June 29, 2015. The legislation allows for an up-or-down vote with no amendments in Congress for international trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. The TPP Agreement includes 12 Asia-Pacific countries (United States, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, and New Zealand) with a collective trading power amounting to 40% of the global gross domestic product. The TPP Agreement is still being negotiated; recently, in a meeting of trade ministers in Maui, Hawaii, negotiators failed to finalize the text of the Agreement due in large part to disagreement regarding intellectual property protections for pharmaceutical products.1
Luo J, Kesselheim AS. The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and Implications for Access to Essential Medicines. JAMA. 2015;314(15):1563-1564. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.10872